Taal Volcano on Wednesday released sulfur dioxide gas at the highest level since it was lowered to Alert Level 1, Phivolcs said as it warned residents there of volcanic smog or vog.
For the past three days, steam plumes as high as 2.4 kilometers were monitored at the volcano, which released a12,125 tons per day of volcanic sulfur dioxide.
The increased emission brought heavy vog over Laurel and Banyaga, and Agoncillo, where it also received reports of damage to vegetation. Residents in Tagaytay and Bugaan East, Laurel also reported sulfur stench, Phivolcs said.
The airborne volcanic gas is also expected to drift to the general northwest of Taal Volcano, it said. Aside from vog, Phivolcs also recorded tremors lasting eight to 12 minutes, "more than the baseline level of volcanic earthquakes."
The volcano remains under Alert Level 1, which can be raised to Alert Level 2 should there be further increase in activities, according to Phivolcs.
Vog contains volcanic gas such as sulfur dioxide, which is acidic and can irritate the eyes, throat, and respiratory tract, it said. The elderly, pregnant women, children, and those with health conditions can be particularly sensitive to the vog, it said.
Residents who may be affected by the vog are told to practice the following:
- Limit exposure by staying indoors, avoiding outdoor activities, and shutting doors and windows to block out the vog
- Cover your nose ideally using an N95 mask
- Drink plenty of water to reduce throat irritation or constriction
- For particularly sensitive groups, seek help from doctors or local officials if needed